Heading for the Exit? Part 1 of 2

So you’re leaving your current job or thinking about it? Maybe you’re being shown the door or are running frantically towards the exit because you can’t wait to escape the burning building (metaphorically speaking!)
I have coached many clients through voluntary & not so voluntary redundancy over the past few years; the majority of them tended to view it as an opportunity to move in a direction that was better suited to them – some even went so far as to say “it was the kick in the ass I needed”!
If you get off to the right start, you’ll give yourself a much better chance of finding the type of work you want sooner rather than later. Clearly there are more opportunities in some sectors and professions than in others, but here are the key things that I have observed that make a real difference to people’s work search and their ability to stay positive and persistent – as they say in Irish “tus maith leath na hoibre” (a good beginning is half the work)

This is the first of two posts which will give you some key things to think about and prepare for what’s ahead…

  • Recognise the “Change Curve” – As you probably know, dealing with major change in your life can be a real challenge, and there is a recognised process and set of stages that people go through. This was noted through research into bereavement by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross – the main stages are Denial, Anger, Fear, Bargaining & Acceptance. Some people go through the stages quite quickly; some take longer, or can get stalled at any of the stages. Once you recognise that it’s a process, that can help you to cope more easily; it’s usually only at the bargaining / acceptance stage that you’ll be ready to take action to move forward.
    The author and coaching guru Martha Beck has a slightly different take in her book “Finding Your Own North Star” – she describes a cycle of change that has 4 main stages
    1. Death & Rebirth (again, metaphorically!) – where you may experience disappointment, anger, discontent and perhaps have an aha moment or make a decision; that is your “rebirth”
    2. Dreaming & Scheming is about exploring options and making plans and starting to take action
    3. The Hero’s Saga is as it sounds, the ups & downs of moving forward, the challenges and the excitement
    4. The Promised Land – achieving the goal or the desired state.

The key point though is that it’s an ongoing cycle, and sooner or later, after the Promised Land, we will want change or be forced to change and go back to step 1 again.
For a brilliant depiction of the 5 stages of grief (Kubler-Ross) check out this brief Simpsons clip

  • Be focused and clear about the role you really want – You may have to compromise along the way, but it’s worthwhile spending some time writing down the things you like, dislike, can tolerate, types of organisation you prefer to work with, the way you want to work e.g. contract, self-employed, temporary etc. Sometimes people need a little space and time away from their workplace to be able to think about this – one client described it as “detoxing”. Your values are really important to consider too; most people don’t think about them much, but when their values don’t match those of the organisation or employer they work for, this is a significant cause of stress. Your values can evolve over the years, or the organisation can change, so many people find themselves working for an organisation that is no longer compatible with what they want. This is your opportunity to find a good match.

Subscribe for Part 2 coming in the next week or so…